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Pilot of OceanGate Titan, 'Mr. Titanic,' lived in Dutchess County

Paul Henri Nargeolet, 77, was piloting the ill-fated submersible that imploded several hundred feet away from the Titanic wreckage Sunday in the North Atlantic.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 23, 2023, 4:21 PM

Updated 333 days ago

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A small Dutchess County community is being thrust into the spotlight, now that a famous resident - known internationally as “Mr. Titanic” – has been named among the five killed onboard the OceanGate Titan.
“He was the Titanic guru,” said Town of Pawling Supervisor James Schmitt." “It’s a sad loss for sure."
Paul Henri Nargeolet, 77, was piloting the ill-fated submersible that imploded several hundred feet away from the Titanic wreckage Sunday in the North Atlantic.
The renowned Titanic expert moved to the Pawling hamlet of Holmes from Connecticut last year and quickly became part of the Pawling community. “Since they’ve been here, they were fantastic residents,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt says the famous deep-sea explorer was outgoing and friendly, and often seen at Town Hall applying for permits for his house with his wife.
Nargeolet’s stepson spoke about the family's loss and Nargeolet’s legacy as “Mr. Titanic” on national media.
“He was so much more than that in my opinion. He was this big, lovable guy who was a prankster and cared so much about his family," said John Paschall.
The retired French Naval Commander led six expeditions to the Titanic wreckage and was onboard the original expedition in 1987 that inspired the blockbuster film about the doomed vessel.
The Coast Guard announced Thursday that Nargeolet and four other people died onboard the Titan – including OceanGate’s CEO, a prominent Pakistani father and son, and a British adventurer.
People in town say the "catastrophic" tragedy described by officials is hard to imagine.
“It’s a crazy story. That’s for sure. I feel bad for the families,” said one resident.
"It's difficult. We all had hoped for the best," said Schmitt.


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